I’ve not done a “beauty/lifestyle” post in so long here! I think it has something to do with the fact that I was going though a bit of a change in products and for a while my skin was feeling the effects. I also have been suffering from a nasty bout of conjunctivitis and so, obviously was not putting a huge amount on my face at all. Conjunctivitis is perhaps the most inconvenient thing for a Photographer to suffer from; for one, it affects your eyes, which goes without saying is hugely inconvenient. It also has the additional side effect of making you look DISGUSTING. In an industry where how you look and behave have a defining influence in whether people want to work with you or not, trust me. It is not a good thing to turn up with red, sore, weeping eyes which leak great gobs of white matter at will. It’s disgusting.
So yes, now you have a graphic picture of what I have looked like for pretty much the last month. (Seriously, if you have even the merest hint of an eye infection go and get the strongest antibiotic eyedrops you can. I managed to get some over the counter and honestly cursed myself for not having the presence of mind to do so sooner).
So anyway, I wanted to write a post about how I present myself as a solo artist (ha!), specifically how I cope with the long days, early starts and editing til 4am some nights.
- Have a uniform. You cannot go wrong with a uniform. It works for models, school children and the emergency services and when you have to catch a train at 7am, not having to ponder your outfit choices really helps you out. Find what works for you and take it from there. Mine is a variation of skinny jeans, looser tops and leather jacket. I switch out DM boots and converse when shooting for a chunky heel, pointy court or ballet pumps for meetings. I also change my bag. When I am in work mode I usually wear black because for me that makes me feel the most confident. No other reason.
- Streamline your routine. I mean this in a time saving sense and also a skin sense. I cringe when I think of how many products I have used at one time or another and feel that right now I have got it down. Right now it is a great cleanser (Emma Hardie cleansing balm) an exfoliating toner or treatment like La roche posay Effaclar toner and whatever moisturiser I am using (currently a Nuxe one). In the morning I just go in with Cetaphil, warm water, a spritz of rosewater (Boots Botanics do a great rosewater toner) and a dab of Hydralauron, which takes 1 min 42 seconds. I have timed it.
- Makeup (for lost time). Ok I learnt that it is very difficult to talk with confidence to a model who has had several hours of professional hair and makeup if you yourself feel like a tramp, so do what you have to do, sister! I must admit that I am the sort of girl who if given 10 mins to get ready, I will be ready.. give me an hour and I will take an hour. But let us assume this is a “working” day and I have to get out the door. If it is a 3am start, I don’t wear any makeup at all. Preferring to do it before I arrive (apologies to all Megabus passengers). My 5 min routine is Clarins concealer (if its a bad skin day) or Topshop bb cream, a bit of Mac MSF in Medium Plus, Mac brow pencil in Spiked OR, if I have time, which is never, a bit of shadow in Mystery applied with an angled brush then literally any eyemakeup I have time for. When photographing, I find that one eye (the eye I close to focus) waters a lot so I tend to not wear liner on these days. Mascara is always Loreal Telesopic. If I am meeting someone I add bronzer and sometimes a lip- I carry several options about with me depending on my mood. If you do nothing else, a lip will save you. Right now I am loving Macs lipliners in whirl or soar- a la Kylie Jenner. Sometimes I am lucky to work with a makeup artist who will take pity on me- it is not unusual for me to return home with a dramatic glittery eye.
- Hair. Right, ok this one might offend the beauty bloggers out there but basically my hair is better the less I do to it. I NEVER wash it in the morning, because that would mean getting up three hours before I had to go anywhere! I wash it the night before, rough dry it and apply a blob of R&B by Lush to eliminate any frizz (Seriously, this hair moisturiser is truly brilliant). Once it is dry I twist it into a loose bun right on top of my head. Just before leaving the house, I spray my entire head with a styling spray, or non white dry shampoo and let it down. And I look like a scarecrow. But this is ok because that is the look I was rocking, yes!
- Eat. I find it impossible to eat really early in the morning. 9am is about my limit, so I carry a pack of raisins, nuts or similar in my bag to try to force myself into it. I do make smoothies quite a lot, which helped to bridge that gap without making me feel sick. I’d love to tell you I wake at dawn and make an egg white omelette and a green juice on shoot days but I just don’t. I do like to make big breakfasts/brunches if I am having a work from home day or on the weekends though. I’ve started to be more disciplined about eating, though as a Photographer sometimes this is not always possible. Just recently I worked a 24 hr day and trust me, I didn’t eat nearly enough.
- Drink. It’s tempting to mainline coffee all day long (some places have coffee machines for the team) but I try to sip water throughout the day. I learnt this the hard way and my work suffers as a result. I try to use every moment of downtime I have to rest, eat and drink a little.
- Aftermath. It’s 10pm and you are just heading home after a day that began at 4.30am. Usually I am not an advocate of facewipes AT ALL but I do usually wipe my face on my way home. Eat, rest, check social media and post about how exhausted I am.
- Sleep. I am the kind of person who operates on adrenaline so I rarely come straight home and sleep. I have to wind down first so put a film on whilst doing my evening skincare routine and drink a cup of Pukka sleep tea (it has lavender in it). Because I am trying techniques to unwind I sometimes listen to a guided meditation via one of the many apps on my phone. This is something a dear friend reccomended to me and I find it has helped the quality of my sleep all round. Yes, I am of the age where sleep is very important to me.
I’ll be back here soon with some new work!